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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Last Day of Christmas: Monster Softies

It's Christmas Eve and the last day of our Christmas freebies at CKC!  We know you are going to LOVE this one, almost as much as your kiddos will.  And if you happen to be scrambling with your last minute gifts preparations, you could even print off today's template, wrap it in a pretty package with some fabric, and call it an IOU activity for your child. Fun! 

Today's tutorial comes to us from Dawn Anderson, the super creative designer of some of our most over-the-top patterns at CKC. She will be showing us how to create Monster Softies using the imaginations of the smartest kids around - your own! 

Don't these look SO fun?  We have the template and step-by-step instructions all included in this tutorial, so let's get started! Here's Dawn: 

Fabric Requirements 

One fat quarter or comparable sized (18' x 22") piece of Fleece, Minky, Velour or cotton for the body.
Scraps of felt, fleece and/or fabric for the face and scrap size pieces for extremities.
Printable Template for CKC Monster Softies

Printing the pattern pieces

Make sure auto rotate and print actual size are checked. Check your 1" square to verify a correct print.  Match up the Lines and As.  Tape together from the back and on the sides, outside of the template so your little one is not trying to draw and color over tape.

Step 1:  Give your little artist her palette and let her get to work drawing a face inside your monster template. For the purpose of this tutorial, I gave Emilly basic direction.  "Please draw a monster face for me with eyes, a nose and a mouth."  You can choose to limit it or let them go crazy.  You can even have them color it OR pick out fabrics from your stash and scrap bin to be like mommy!
(Note: My daughter is drawing her monster on a previously cut out template.  It will be easier for your child to draw before cutting in case he/she wants to add hands, feet, ears etc.)

Step 2:  Cut out the template and all body parts your artist chooses for her monster. Fold your fabric in half.  Lay your template pieces on top of your fabric and cut out.  

Cut out 2 body pieces, 4 hand pieces, 4 foot pieces, 4 ear pieces and 4 horn pieces.  Make sure that if you make horns your fabric is either right or wrong sides together so that you are creating mirror images.
When you are finished, you should have a pile similar to this.

Step 3: Take 2 of your hand pieces and place them right sides together.  Pin around the edges.  Repeat with the remaining hand, both feet and both horns.  When finished you should have a pile similar to this.

Step 4:  Sew around all sides except for the bottom flat edge as shown.  Clip your curves or use pinking sheers to trim up your seam allowance so your pieces lay nice and flat.

Step 5: Turn your pieces right side out using a pen cap or loop turner to get the horn points pushed out. Set aside for now.

Step 6: If you want to scan or photograph your artists canvas, now is the time to do it.  Once you have the memory saved, cut out the facial features making minimal adjustments as necessary.  For example: I should have shortened my daughters "cat mouth" just an inch to fit better on her monster. 

Step 7: Prepare your facial feature fabrics for cutting and bonding.  If you have wonder under or heat bond fusible webbing on hand, this is for you. (If you do not have any you can still pin your pieces. It will just be a little tricky to pin down and sew eyelashes and thin mouths.)  Start by cutting out a piece of wonder under, smaller than the scrap you plan to cut your facial feature from. Follow the directions that come with your brand of fusible webbing to Iron the rough side of your webbing to the wrong side of your fabric. Repeat this with all fabrics being used for facial features. IMPORTANT:  If you are using FELT OR FLEECE, you must use a thin layer of cotton as a barrier/pressing cloth so that your fabric does not melt. Peel the paper backing off of your webbing. 

Step 8: Trace your facial feature onto the right side of your fabric making sure to check the direction of the feature. For eye lashes and swirly eyes, I trace around the general shape. Cut out your facial features.  For these Eye lashes, I free handed it as close to her original lash design as possible. 

Step 9: Lay your cut out facial features onto the right side of your monster body atleast 1/2 inch from the edges so pieces dont get caught in your seam allowance.  Here is Emilly's monster face.

Step 10:  If you are not using fusible webbing, you can either use fabric tac glue or pins to hold your facial features in place.  If you are using fusible webbing, follow your webbing's directions to iron your features in place.  I used felt.  This means I had to use my pressing cloth (AKA my cotton fabric scrap) to protect the felt and my iron from each other. 

Step 11: Using a straight stitch for wovens or a stretch stitch for knits, slowly stitch your features in place, making sure to back stitch at the beginning and end of each feature.  You should now have what looks like a 2D version of your little artists monster drawing.

Step 12.  Collect your hands, feet, horns, ears and all pieces you have that need to be stuffed.  Lightly stuff each piece with poly fill or tiny scraps leaving about 3/8 of an inch (it doesn't have to be perfect) unstuffed for seam allowance.

Step 13:  Pin your body parts to your body piece, wherever you would like, right sides facing so that your stuffed end is touching the body and the raw edges line up as shown.

Step 14:  Place your remaining body piece on top of your pinned body piece, right sides together, sandwiching the body parts in between the two body pieces.

Step 15:  Start on one side near the bottom and sew all the way around except for a 2 inch opening for flipping out.  Make sure you back stitch a couple of times at the beginning and end so it doesn't come undone during turning. Serge or trim your edges with pinking sheers if you have them.  You can see the hole on the bottom left of the following picture.

Step 16:  Turn your monster right side out by pushing one side through the opening and pulling him all the way through the hole.

Step 17:  Once your monster is completely right side out, tuck in the little seam allowance edge inside the hole as shown and press to keep it in place.

Step 18:  Stuff your monster body with poly fill or small scraps. Here is Emilly's!  You can see the poofy spot that is the stuffing hole on the bottom right of this photo.

Step 19:  Sew your hole closed.  Some people prefer to do it by hand.  For this one I made sure the edges lined up, held it at the top and bottom and stitched as close to the edge as I could get. 

You are all done!  How easy was it to create a huggable keepsake with a few scraps and a drawing?

Note:  Feel free to Draw your own template, hands, feet, horns or even a tail.  This is just a guide to get you started on turning your little Picasso's drawing into something huggable. 

To create your own template, simply draw out the shapes you like, tape 2 ink pens together and trace your shape with the inside pen making sure both pens remain in contact with the paper.  The outside pen will give you seam allowance of roughly 1/4 inch depending on the pen.  Cut out your shape on the outside line and you have a new template!  

Aren't these Monster Softies so fun?!  My kids are going to love this project. I'm sure yours will too so be sure to show us their happy pictures when you're done! Merry Christmas!!!

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 


  1. this is great boys well the grand boys like the monsters...thank you for such a great idea...thank you again from a grandma ...

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